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How Australia Voted In The Same-Sex Marriage Survey
14 November 2017, 08:28 | Opal Carroll
The Senate could begin debating changes to the Marriage Act as early as this week if the'Yes vote comes out on top
There won't be a coalition position to decide which of two private bills is the starting point for legalising same-sex marriage, a senior Turnbull government insists.
The Senator from Victoria said his bill would allow any Australian to declare that they would not participate in a same-sex wedding if it violated their religious beliefs. It would also provide immunity under anti-discrimination law for people who hold, express, and act on various traditional beliefs about marriage, sexuality, and gender.
"That's why it is necessary to extend the same principle applied in other same-sex marriage bills beyond ministers of religion to anyone else directly connected to a wedding".
The Paterson bill ensures exemptions for ministers of religion and celebrants with genuine belief and allows a limited form of conscientious objection, and also seeks to protect freedom of speech and guarantee the right of parents to opt their children out of school classes that conflicted with their values.
Liberal Senator James Paterson has announced he has developed his own marriage bill, which has more emphasis on religious protections than the bill put forward by colleague Senator Dean Smith.
It also allows religious organisations to refuse to make goods and services for the objective of a marriage.
"The objective of the Bill is clear: it creates equal access to marriage while protecting religious freedom in relation to marriage", he said. In his opinion piece Senator Paterson said printing companies, broadcasters and venues would be able to turn down business from either side of the debate.
Nearly 80 percent of Australia's registered voters have responded to a government-commissioned two-month postal survey on whether Parliament should lift the country's prohibition on same-sex marriage.
Tasmanian marriage equality advocate Rodney Croome claimed the bill "would effectively allow businesses to hang a "no gays" sign in the window ". However, if the Labor Party wins the next federal election, we could see marriage equality be reintroduced in parliament.
Labor senator Sam Dastyari said Senator Paterson was being taken for a ride.
AFTER months of drawn out debate, the nation will soon hear the result of the marriage equality postal vote on Wednesday.
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